FBI: Most Wanted recap: Gaines faces a demon of her past

Agent Gaines
Alexa Davalos as Agent Kristin Gaines on FBI: Most Wanted. Pic credit: CBS

The scars of the past aren’t always easy to lose. 

After welcoming new agent Ray Cannon to the team, the FBI: Most Wanted crew had to handle a heist that led to a power play in a drug cartel.

This had Gaines facing her dark past of having once been tortured by the same cartel boss. This obviously shook her up, deciding if she wanted justice or revenge. 

It was complicated by Gaines helping a former contact and coming under fire amid a deadly family feud. 

While trusting the wrong person backfired, Gaines did end up facing her past head-on to exorcise a demon. 

This made Succession a powerful episode to offer a compelling arc for Gaines. 

A brazen daytime theft

In a posh jewelry store in New York’s Diamond District, rapper Daddy Eyez (Jeff Will) was getting some diamonds and gold put on his teeth. A security guard arrived for a diamond trade and sang some of Daddy Eyez’s songs. 

As the guard headed to his truck, two masked men came up, shooting him and his partner. One shooter was killed and the other wounded while stealing the bag of diamonds worth $12 million.

Gaines and her daughter were leaving a clinic with Ingrid suggesting they get tattoos. She noted how Gaines hadn’t changed her look in five years. They were interrupted by the news of the heist, with both guards and one shooter dead.

The shooter was Joaquin Avila, a recent Chile immigrant. Det. Javier Alcazar (Brandon Morris) explained there was a rise in “crime tourists” who came from Chile, hit a few stores then flew back home while their bosses got the money. However, this struck them as more of a rush job than a careful plan. 

Alcazar identified the wounded shooter as Chato Flores (Vianny Guevara), who was usually into smash-and-grabs, so they suspected he was trying to prove himself to someone. With Flores wounded, he needed medical attention fast. 

It didn’t take long for the gang to realize the store owner was spending more money than he reported making and suspected he’d been involved for the insurance. He identified a customer as Elena (Rosanna Jimenez), a stripper he was involved with. 

As a woman across town looked concerned at the news of the robbery, Gaines and Cannon hit Flores’ house. They found Elena with scars on her back hiding under the bed. As Gaines comforted her, she was shaken at the woman’s scars.

A man (Efren Ramirez) walked into a veterinarian clinic where the doctors were doing their best to help the wounded Flores. He solved the problem by shooting Flores and then taking the bag of diamonds while paying off the doctor to clean things up.

Gaines faces the scars of her past

Gaines talked to Elena and revealed their connection as they’d been on the same boat in Miami when Gaines was working undercover on the FGN cartel five years earlier. Elena had gotten away while Gaines was still held by the cartel boss, Oscar Zamora, the same man who had killed Flores.

Elena was reluctant to talk until Gaines showed she had the same scars on her back that Elena did and knew exactly what Elena had been through. Elena finally talked of how she and Flores had been involved for a while, and he’d needed the diamonds for some reason. 

Flores had simply said, “Christmas is coming,” which could be a code word. Gaines told Remy not to judge her, but he understood that she wanted Oscar. “Let’s make sure Christmas comes early for you.”

On a runway, Oscar’s father, notorious drug lord Rafael Zamora (Jay Santiago), was getting off a plane en route to his trial. Suddenly a sniper took him down before escaping. 

The gang quickly realized that with the authorities freezing the Zamora assets, Oscar needed some cash for this job. Oscar was known for a hot temper, unlike brother Manuel (Adrian Anchondo) and the team wondered if there was a power play happening.

Someone on the tip line speaking in French wanted to talk to “The European.” Gaines realized this was her old contact Lucia (Johanna Cure), Rafael’s daughter. She had brought Gaines into the cartel but ended up turning evidence on her family to escape to America.

Gaines met Lucia in Brooklyn as she was terrified Oscar was trying to take over, had killed his own father, and was now targeting her. The team spotted the same sniper from the airport just as he opened fire, with Gaines and Lucia ducking the bullets. 

Cannon chased the sniper on a rooftop, but he got away while Gaines quickly drove Lucia to a safe house. 

Lucia and Gaines talked about how Rafael had actually liked Gaines in her undercover role as Gaines was shaken at Lucia asking if they’d been just a job. Remy introduced Elena to stay with Lucia as Lucia got a text that Manuel was in New York for a high-priced art auction. 

Remy was confused as to what these brothers wanted and figured an undercover operation was needed. 

Dressed nicely, the pair observed the auction, with Remy briefly throwing out a bid before realizing he couldn’t afford any of this. They found Manuel in a private room, giving orders to the bidders. 

Manuel offered an apology to Gaines for what Oscar had done to her and hadn’t had much contact with Lucia. He claimed to have been in New York for his father’s trial and was heading home with Remy offering some FBI protection. 

Manuel insisted he had no idea where Oscar was and tried to stay out of the family business. However, he later met Oscar in a limo, who offered the diamonds to buy into things. 

Manuel berated Oscar for what he did to Gaines and that this robbery had drawn the FBI’s attention to them. Manuel was in charge and just threw Oscar a bone running New York and his clubs. 

Oscar claimed he was innocent of their father’s murder, suggesting rival drug lord “El Pincho” had somehow gotten him. Manuel wasn’t sure if he believed him as he ordered Oscar out of the limo. 

Gaines exorcises a demon of her past

Lucia talked to Oscar about Manuel cutting him out, and if he somehow got to “Christmas” first, he could take over. She then began gasping before collapsing in front of Elena. 

The tox screen showed Lucia had been roofied, but no idea how. The team focused on what “Christmas” was about, speculating it might be a delivery of some sort. They also found out about the meeting between Manuel and Oscar. 

DEA Agent Vanessa Ritchie (Jenn Colella) informed them of an import/export business that was a front for smuggling drugs inside luxury cars. “Christmas” was a huge delivery of 500 kilos, and whoever controlled that controlled the cartel. 

At a ship on the New Jersey docks, Manuel met Amir Efrain (Zeby Khan) to show how he was using the frame of that painting to smuggle drugs. Oscar and his men attacked the boat at the same time the FBI showed up, leading to a three-way firefight. 

The team boarded the boat with Gaines spotting Oscar to chase him while Remy busted Manuel at a poker game. 

Gaines cornered Oscar, who seemed surprised Gaines was going to arrest him rather than just shoot him. Gaines was obviously tempted but tried to arrest Oscar when he fought back. Gaines managed to take him down, strangling him with cable, sobbing out as she finally ended him.

Cannon told the team Lucia roofied the agent looking after her to escape. Gaines realized Lucia had been playing everyone to take out her brothers and father and take over the cartel. Lucia was seen on a private plane with the sniper she’d hired, smiling at now being the boss.

Gaines confessed to Remy the embarrassing way her cover was blown: She was shopping with Lucia and ran into her old high-school English teacher, who revealed her real name. She wasn’t sure how she felt about killing Oscar as Remy told her she’d done well.

Rather than return home, Gaines decided to hit a tattoo parlor to cover up her scars and finally put her past behind her. 

It was a powerful episode as Gaines faced the ghost of her past but came out stronger in the end of this dark journey.

FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

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